Archive for the ‘Tinfoil hat’ Category

One problem.. (Good vs Evil)

Monday, October 26th, 2020

So, one thing the recent supreme court nomination and confirmation illustrates is the problem of good vs evil – evil doesn’t care about the rules. Evil doesn’t care about lying. If you’ve decided that you will have your way no matter what (as Mitch clearly has and no one has stopped him) you can do enormous damage to this world, and it does in general lack protections. In general I’ve come to suspect that the cops (who shoot random citizens and get told “Good job.”) are controlled by people I’d identify as far more evil than good. (While I grant you that Biden is definitely better than Trump, I’m still very saddened that he chose a prosecutor – by definition a force for evil – as a running mate. On the other paw, your choice here is between mildly tarnished and the devil himself, so it’s not hard for me to endorse the man on the left.)

Of course, a lot of the laws themselves are evil. Certainly the laws against immigration,  setting quotas, making it difficult, are evil. Certainly laws against acts that harm no one, or harm no one but the committee of the law, are evil. And I’d also have to say that laws that attempt to legislate a particular religious view of morality are evil.

Anyway, the question remains, how can not-evil possibly win if evil doesn’t care about the rules? For the most part, I think with superior numbers – and also I have to imagine that it’s a lot easier to look yourself in the mirror every morning if you’re not a crooked cheat.

The whole thing does make me think that in general man does not do well when saddling himself with government, and I think a big part of the problem here is that it’s not a great idea to let anyone who wants a lot of these jobs have them. Anyone who thinks they’re *worthy* to be a judge should be disqualified, and certainly anyone who thinks they should be president is the last person you’d want for the job. But, traditionally we let people choose their own employment. I don’t know what the solution is although I still suspect that judicious use of AI, and having us all agree to the programming of the AI, would work a lot better than having us directly rule. At least it would be less corruptable.

 

Features a utopia should have

Tuesday, October 20th, 2020

(Note: I’m talking a *real* utopia. Something we’d need significant technological improvements to implement on earth)

  1. Ability to wear any body (animal, human, etc)
  2. Ability to ‘share’ a body with one or more other occupants
  3. Ability to ‘melt’ – temporarily crosswire memories and/or decision trees in various combinations with other people
  4. “Flexible time” – ability to stop time for a participant until another participant wanted to do something with them
  5. “Conditional virginity” – the ability to temporarily forget having experienced something so you could experience it for the first time again
  6. Of course, pretty much every activity on earth, available in unlimited amounts
  7. The ability to control individual neurons and clusters of neurons, complete with a scripting language
  8. Ability to ‘matrix learn’ i.e. temporarily assign master knowledge for things you don’t want to have the long slow agonizing experience of learning. (Of course, it might not be possible to make the skill *yours* without learning it the slow way)
  9. Ability to learn the slow way, and to save having learned the slow way in different banks so you can develop multiple personalities, multiple musician styles, etc
  10. Lots of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. (Well, art in general. Music, video, kinesthetic, worlds you can visit)
  11. Unlimited budget, but protections against doing stupid things. (One friend of mine suggests the ultimate resource to conserve is quota of memory storage, a la Lambda)
  12. Ability to experience any work of fiction (film, movie, video game) as a immersive environment. (The holodeck, basically)
  13. Help with the interface, which I think perforce is going to have to be somewhat complex
  14. Ability to create immersive worlds
  15. Computer systems that can synthesize new works of art based on existing ones
  16. No need to worry about money, food, or shelter
  17. Lots of dogs. Ideally with no leashes or need of them, and ideally with us having the ability to communicate cross-species or at least natively understand communications
  18. Not a lot of restrictions based on what other people think are good art. Restrictions or at least help when interfacing with other people so no one gets hurt. Restrictions on work with simulations pretty much only limited to preventing people from hurting themselves too badly
  19. Unlimited amount of time
  20. Free will to use all of the above to drive the adventures one wants to see

 

I may update this post as I think of more.

 

Trump and COVID

Thursday, October 1st, 2020

I’m trying to figure out how I feel about thew news that Trump has COVID.

While I’ll be the first to admit that him dying of the disease that he helped spread would be a very poetic end, I also suspect I’d find it deeply unsatisfying. This is partially because I have two entirely contradictory thoughts about it – one of which I wish I didn’t have, because it speaks to me having a flaw that seems to be common to humans, and the other which I think most people would agree is reasonable.

The first thought is a desire to see him punished for the massive harm he’s done to our world and the people in it. While it’s true Trump hasn’t hurt as many people as Dubya, he has hurt millions and millions of people and made the world a less safe and less desirable to live in place. I generally don’t think we should punish people, although we should set them up for situations that invite rehabilitation, but there is a part of me that wants Trump to get repeatedly beaten by the very cops he told to be more violent when arresting people, and wants him to hear the slam of the jail cell and feel the steel bracelets and know that ultimately he did not get away with it. I don’t really like what this thought says about me – I know that anger is a reasonable response to being hurt and Trump has hurt us all, but I also don’t think it does any good for anyone to hurt back simply because we’ve been hurt.

The second thought is a desire for redemption for Trump. I want some sort of Hollywood-style character arc where he learns and grows, and if he dies now that becomes impossible – whereas if he lives through COVID but faces some of the fears that I would imagine are associated with having it and realizes some of what he’s done to the world maybe he can be a tiny smidge less self centered and less horrible in the future. I think this is something we should all want for each other.

Anyway, for the second reason I am going to wish him a full recovery but hopefully enough of a symptomatic experience to learn some things.

Evidence against Christianity

Thursday, October 1st, 2020

So, of the things that I ponder, ‘what if I’m wrong?’ about, probably the biggest one is religion. However, I was pondering various things that are strong arguments against Christianity – well, in particular, the idea of God.

One very strong argument against a moral intelligent designer is cancer. Cancer would easily be preventable by having our DNA switch between a mode where mutations were possible, for evolutionary purposes, during initial mitosis, and a mode where a CRC is applied to it rather than the simple checksum that currently exists, for runtime purposes. Cancer would be basically impossible.

Now, one can imagine arguments for the experience of earth – a few that have occured to me include that we need something to compare utopia with in order to enjoy it and we sometimes want a challenge, and also the classic ‘this is a configuration screwup’ possibility. It also has occured to me – and I think it’s actually probably pretty likely – that we exist as a side effect of some other process and we’re not actually supposed to exist at all, therefore any system administrators that might exist in the universe have no idea we’re here.

Anyway, it’s also possible we have a incompetent God. But what we clearly *do not* have is a ethical, omnipotent, omnicient God who loves us.

Another good indicator of this is the plethora of religions, many of which encourage awful behavior. Even Christianity apparently failed to stop a number of atrocities of being done in its name, including:

1) The crusades
2) Criminalization of not believing in Christianity – in the middle ages, I would have been put to death for failure to believe. Of course, in the USA, we did something very similar in the 50s with McCarthy
3) Repeated repression of anyone who behaves in “un-christian” ways, including criminalization of things which should not be illegal just because Christians don’t like them

But, beyond this, all these “There can be only one” religions increase the risk of wars – and they’re not likely to all be true. And it would be pretty horrific if they were. Since all the “there can only be one” religions have different tenants, they can’t all be true (well, barring certain multiple reality possibilities).

It is a interesting question, though – God might just believe in freedom of the press. And not care how many people get hurt. but that makes the claim of being omniscient, omnipotent, and loving us again seem unlikely.

Variations on a theme : protecting incorrect core beliefs in a NNN

Wednesday, September 30th, 2020

So, I’ve been reading Thinking Fast And Slow, which talks about several things that I’ve already thought about considerably, but from the perspective of considerably more research than I’ve done about them. One of the things it’s underlined for me is the idea that our brains have both configuration that is still flexible and configuration that has been compiled – well, actually hardwired, via interconnections between neurons – so that it can run at sub-second speeds. As a musician I am trying very hard to make the connection between the music I imagine and what my fingers do be built this way – at the moment, it is for my right hand but not for my left.

Anyway, one of the things I’ve been thinking about is the right wing’s continued defense of Trump even though he’s obviously a abomination. One of my friends, out of ways to defend Trump directly, has a never-ending series of ad-hominem attacks for Biden. This is the same friend who was once talking about how we shouldn’t have government healthcare because it could involve the government paying for a citizen’s mistake even though he’s only alive because the government assisted him after he did something fairly boneheaded.

So I’ve been thinking about that, and about how we parrot the statements of our peers and the talking heads on the television without thinking about them, and part of what I’m contemplating is that we may do such things as part of the process that defends our core beliefs even when we know they’re wrong.

See, it takes a certain amount of neurochemical resources to rebalance our neural networks – one of the things that ends up happening is that subnets that become a large nexus point between interconnects are still relevant even if they represent a belief that’s been disproved, because other firing patterns still pass through them. Now, of course, as with things like a closed-head injury, there are systems in place to arrange for alternate wiring, however that process must be pace-limited by the fact that it’s actually consuming resources – making wiring connections between neurons in a human brain is *not* free – *firing* is not even free, it involves uptake of chemicals that must later be released and so there’s a limited amount of it that can happen for any given amount of time.

As a result, I would imagine we have evolved defense mechanisms that will protect core beliefs that large amounts of neural circuitry are routing through *even when we ourselves know they are wrong*. I wonder if that’s part of what’s going on with my friend, since the alternative involves him having a deep lack of self-awareness.

I also wonder – one of the things in general that’s difficult to absorb and understand about the right is how they can over and over see their cherished points of view being obviously proved false (the laffer curve, for example) and then go back ot them. ANd I wonder how much of that is the above phenomenon, and what sorts of checks and balances one needs to have in place to correct for the fact that humans will cling to beliefs that are provably wrong.

One part of what’s going on with this election is that people on the right are accusing nearly all news channels of being ‘fake news’ – so they are living in a alternate reality where Trump isn’t a evil bastard who steals from vendors and from the american people, is in massive debt, has routinely acted abysmally towards woman, is probably a white supremacist, and lies constantly. Instead, everything the media says is “leftist lies”. Now part of what’s alarming to me is this demonstrates they have no memory, because we can point to things like Trump’s handling of COVID as demonstrating that he’s making statements that provably turn out not to be true in ways we can all remember. What’s also alarming is even after Trump completely flubs COVID due to treating it kind of like the right treats global warming, the right will continue to go on about the “global warming hoax” – even though other science-y things demonstrated the scientists were right, they won’t recognize the pattern and start to listen to science. These people are not in touch with reality and they don’t know it and (possibly because of the above) there is no way to put them in touch with reality. I am not sure what the solution is going forward but I am starting to think freedom of the press should be slightly abridged such that things like Fox and Friends must actively say at the beginning of each show “This is entertainment only. We are going to lie to you. None of what we are saying is true.” or some such.

Sharing and the twilight zone

Monday, September 14th, 2020

So, this is going to be another of those multifaceted and meandering posts. It will definitely fall at least somewhat under the tinfoil hat heading.

First of all, I was having a conversation with a somewhat right leaning friend and it underlined for me, not for the first time, how scary the situation we’re in is. Numerous people on the right have been trying to stir up fear and anger over a number of things, and they’ve clearly succeeded. The willingness of the right to publish utter fiction and claim it as fact has gotten to be a big problem. No, antifa isn’t starting fires, no, antifa isn’t marxist, no, BLM isn’t marxist, yes, it is possible to be in favor of a increased level of socialism without being marxist.

(I’ve talked about elsewhere how we need a new -ism, since everything we’ve tried so far doesn’t work. Lately I’ve been thinking about how the command and control aspect of any society needs to have a whole lot of active protection against corruption because every human enterprise seems to, entropy-like, move steadily more towards corruption)

 

Anyway, one thing the right loves to do is conflate the social safety net democracy ideals of Bernie with the authoritarian ideals of i.e. CCP, CCCP, etc. I know it’s incredibly tempting to mix the resource allocation system and command and control axises – after all, most people can’t think about there being several different things going on here – but it is, ultimately, a lie – and part of how the powers that be get away with a lot of the awful they get away with.

 

It’s funny that so many find the idea of socialism so frightening since at it’s root, all it is is the idea that we share. Of course, there’s a lot of places where earth is dramatically against sharing that it would be a far better place if it was for sharing. Think about how many relationships have ended because of ‘cheating’ – we are wired to fall in love more than once, but the very stupid memetics this place runs on try their hardest to program us to think sharing is bad – and not just in a sexual partner sense. This whole anti-immigrant thing is a dramatic case of us being terrified at the idea of sharing. It’s really rather sad.

 

I was thinking while I was doing some experimenting with chord progressions earlier today how if I were running a country that had a whole lot of people wanting to move to it, i’d be tryign to come up with the technologies to welcome those people with open arms, and not to have any shortages. However, we seem to love the resource allocation system of idiocy and we’re determined to make sure Earth doesn’t turn into a utopia no matter what – so we skid steadily more dystopic.

 

Anyway, one of the thoughts I wanted to talk about is that I talk a lot about how we have enough computing power in our minds to render reality out of whole cloth, and I talk about wanting to be able to control this so I can experience specific realities – and I talk about this as being one of the forms of real wealth that is far more valuable than dollars (with the other form being friends) – but, one possible explanation for the steadily more bizarre relations between the left and right is that in fact all of us are always in realities rendered by our minds and just trading data back and forth to appear in each other’s experiences, and the right is dreaming a dramatically different dream than the left. It seems believable to me that there are in fact two different realities, and the people being led by i.e. Rush and Trump etc are living in a different reality than I am. It’s possible that lies *create* new realities, even, especially if enough people believe them.

 

Anyway, the whole situation is rather scary.. I wonder what my friend would think if he could see the Black Lives Matter flag I fly. Probably he would not be surprised since I have told him I’m to the left of Bernie. (I literally want to create a new resource allocation system – actually i’d probably create several and then have each state vote on which one they’d like to test out, and then let states change as it became clear which one was the winning system)

 

 

America, land of the thug

Thursday, August 27th, 2020

So, one thing that I can’t help but notice is that America’s police forces are basically amoral thugs. The fact that they were willing to enforce things like the marijuana laws was a good indicator of this, but a better indicator is that they repeatedly kill innocent civilians and they have no problems with this.

This fits in nicely with America’s military, which is in the business of killing any innocent who gets in the way of our state religion (capitalism) or our access to oil. It’s obvious that there are better options than oil for transportation energy storage, but the american dollar and the wealth of a bunch of old white men is tied to oil, so, murder more! Besides, the voters like seeing the houses of others blown up on the nightly news. It makes them feel patroitic.

And, of course, there’s a very effective brainwashing system in place selling the idea that all this thuggery is good. Shows like Cops. A never-ending series of lies to justify the use of deadly force by both the police and the military.

It doesn’t take much research, if one is willing to be honest, to discover that when Islamic countries talk about America as worshiping ‘The great Satan’, they have a pretty good case they can make. (Of course, Jehovah is also a murdering bastard.. in general our spiritual systems do not seem to be based around people you would want to know, with the possible exception of Jesus himself and Siddhartha).

Why don’t people stop it? I don’t know. Increasingly it looks like we’re willing to fight back when the cops murder innocents, which I find encouraging, but we’re not doing a very good job of targetting. People, teh goal is to destroy government buildings that belong to the criminal justice system, not random, useful government buildings, and definitely not private businesses.

I understand that it’s hard to think rationally when you’re angry, and I also understand that anger is a reasonable response to being hurt, and having our police murder innocents without consequence (aside from maybe some paperwork) whenever they want definitely falls under “being hurt”. Living in fear of our police because they will thug around whenever they want and break bones and murder if anyone doesn’t “respect their authoritah” is also something I’d consider “being hurt”. Of course, the conservatives are all cheering this on. Yay! Cops should kill more innocent citizens! And break more bones!

Ansible

Sunday, August 16th, 2020

So, I think I’ve talked about this before, but I thought I’d mention it again.

We have 10^11 neurons. 100 billion of them – and each neuron is made up of many, many atoms. A conservative guess might be a hundred thousand. Each atom has a electron that forms a probability cloud that is the most dense close to the nucleus, and asymptotically approaches zero as it moves away from the nucleus, but it’s never really zero.

We are all connected, we are all inside each other. We can’t escape this.

At the same time, our experiences of each other can never really be the territory, but must be the map. We experience avatars of other people, because our experience of the other people is happening inside our heads even though the other people are in fact real beings that are out there in whatever world or worlds we inhabit.

This is all before we even start to open the can of worms marked ‘multiple worlds theory’ or ‘multiple dimensions’.

P.S. Money sucks

Saturday, August 1st, 2020

So, I know I’m repeating myself here, but the whole COVID thing really does underline how we need to be more agile in our thinking regarding resource allocation. At the end of the day we’re likely to get millions of people killed (by the end of this) and a large number of these deaths are because we can’t let go of the idea of money and we can’t just let people have the things they need for free until we’re on the other side of this pandemic.

Now, I understand that a lot of this is that a number of evil ideas are pervasive on earth.. and I know that various right wing friends of mine are horrified at the idea that anyone could get anything for free and are convinced that this would lead to us all starving because no one would work. I think this shows a lack of understanding of human nature, although it may be true that humans should go extinct and be replaced with something else because it may be true that we simply suck too much to continue existing. We certainly are one of the most destructive to other life forms species to ever live – one of the problems we have is that we don’t have any natural predators that can really take us on, and we breed like rabbits, so we’re going to overload the ability of the planet to generate resources sooner or later unless we change the way we think about the world. I’ve made the suggestion that we should start creating software (in the form of neurological interconnects) for our minds such that we can experience having anything we want while not actually placing any load on the planet for physical resources at all – once we learned to do that we could likely also become immortal by moving the software that was us from body to body, and we could do things like using hypervisor-like structures to do the necessary work to keep everyone fed while also providing the conscious experience whatever we wanted.

And we may or may not get there, however, in the meantime we still have this problem that we have a resource allocation system that is fragile as hell. Pandemic? economic crash. Volcano? Economic crash. Flood? Localized economic crash. It also encourages stupid decisions – like building stickbuilt houses in flood areas when we could build houses that could survive flooding without damage – we could also build fireproof houses, cars that need virtually no maintenance, and a number of other similar things but people are too in love with a system where everyone must work. I personally think the system where everyone must work is awful and should be torn down.. it’s one of the many many things about Earth I would criticise. But perhaps I’m just too negative in my thinking and Earth is actually perfect and providing everyone but me with what they want and need.

(Or perhaps not.)

A God of Love

Monday, July 6th, 2020

So, sometimes I think I should sit down and do the thought experiment of figuring out, OK, I’m certain that no religion I’ve ever seen describes a god of love, but I can describe sets of circumstances that could leave us with a god of love, or even a utopian God, and still leave us in our current situation.

It’s a interesting thought experiment to think what such a diety might be like. It’s also a interesting thought experiment to think about what I think a utopia for me would be like. It’s where I ended up with the thought that everyone would be connected to the same network but everyone would be running different software mapping the rest of folks into their conscious experience because that’s the only way that everyone could get the right utopia for them, given that one man’s heaven is another man’s hell.

As I’ve said, I can come up with many reasons that we could have the best god (or system administrator anyway) that one can imagine and still have the experience we’re having. Some of the more obvious ones are that we wanted a challenge and so this world is deliberately suboptimal, or that there’s something wrong with our own neural mapping that is creating our conscious experience but that God wants us to have the freedom to be who we want to be and therefore is allowing us to fix that mapping ourselves. One can also consider the artistic values of a less-than-perfect (but still pretty awesome in a lot of ways) world.

Obviously one of the people I talk to in my inner world regularly is a big fan of the idea that it’s the neural structure inside our minds that maps our senses to our conscious experience that controls whether we experience heaven or hell. I don’t really know yet how much that’s under our control, or how much we can make it grow in directions we want it to grow in.

But, my point remains, throw out religion and just think in terms of what you’d want from the system administrator of the world – and whether you’d want God to be more than that, and if so, what more? There’s a interesting intersection between freedom and safety there – your perfect safety experience keeps you on rails and can’t go anywhere unexpected, while your perfect freedom experience can end very badly.

More later.